Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on May 29, officially inaugurated the first phase of his country’s long-awaited flagship Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, through which Caspian-basin natural gas (from the offshore Shah-Deniz field) will be transported to Europe (Azernews, May 29). The new project consists of several linked pipelines that pass through Azerbaijan and Georgia (via the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, or SCPX), Turkey (via the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, TANAP), and further through Greece, Albania and into Italy (via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, TAP). In the initial operational phase of the SGC, 6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas will annually be transported via Turkey to Europe, and those volumes will be increased to 10 bcm after 2020. Reportedly, the volumes will be expanded to 31 bcm after 2026, if additional gas compressor stations are constructed.Oxumağa davam et Southern Gas Corridor Project Opening New Long-Term Opportunities for Europe→
While Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is focused on the upcoming snap elections on June 24, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a historic visit to Uzbekistan in early May. Uzbekistan-Turkey relations reached its zenith in the 1990s shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan became an obvious target for Turkish soft power. Since the beginning of the 2000s, however, the bilateral relationship between Ankara and Tashkent deteriorated, in part because of the isolationist policy of then-President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and also in part because of ideological differences and the fact that exiled opposition leader Muhammad Salih resided in Turkey. Oxumağa davam et How Will Erdogan’s Recent Visit to Uzbekistan Enhance Turkish-Uzbek Cooperation?→
В четверг Дональд Трамп написал в твиттере, что военная операция в Сирии в ответ на химическую атаку в городе Дума “может начаться очень скоро, либо совсем не скоро”. Накануне американский президент был более решителен, наказав России “готовиться” к ракетному удару по силам сирийского президента Башара Асада. Несмотря на эти противоречивые твиты, США и их союзники, судя по всему, продолжают готовиться к удару по Сирии.
Armenia’s dependence on Russia makes it a pivotal foothold of Moscow in the South Caucasus, as the only host country of a Russian military base in the region, as well as a member in the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). While the growing arms race in the region and the recent escalation of tensions in NagornoKarabakh increased the vulnerability of Armenia, Russia seems to have reinforced its ability to ensure full control over Armenia.Oxumağa davam et HOW DO RUSSIAN LOANS “HELP” ARMENIA TO MODERNIZE ITS MILITARY CAPABILITIES?→
On March 15, Baku hosted the first official ministerial meeting of a new quadrilateral regional format, encompassing Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Georgia (Trend, March 15). The new grouping was conceived to enhance cooperation among the four neighboring states, particularly in the security sphere. Until now, perhaps the most productive intra-regional cooperation format in the South Caucasus was the Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia triangle. Under the umbrella of this trilateral format, the participating countries have worked to deepen their defense ties as well as held annual military drills (see EDM, March 11, 2014; June 7, 2017). Despite attempts by some observers to portray the tripartite grouping as an anti-Russian bloc in the South Caucasus, the three states have denied such accusations. Oxumağa davam et Baku Pushes New Azerbaijan-Iran-Turkey-Georgia Grouping to Enhance Intra-Regional Cooperation→
On February 6, the Azerbaijan-China Business forum held in Beijing gathered together a number of state officials including Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, the Chairman of the Export and Investment Promotion Fund of Azerbaijan (AZPROMO), as well as officials from the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Chinese Council of Propaganda of International Trade. The business forum was reportedly devoted to the Trans-Caspian Transit Corridor as part of China-led ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, a corridor of 6,500 km links Asia with Europe and passes through countries including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. A flagship project of the corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway, was inaugurated in October in 2017. The railway connects Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, establishing a freight and passenger link between Europe and China. During the inauguration ceremony President Ilham Aliyev stated that “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will connect not only countries, but continents as well.” Thus, the BTK project is undoubtedly has enormous importance to the competitiveness of the Trans-Caspian corridor.